Former Houston Texans OF Whitney Mercilus Says She Has ‘New Life’ With Green Bay Packers

October 21, 2021

GREEN BAY, Wis. – Whitney Mercilus heard what Randall Cobb said this summer after Cobb was traded from the Houston Texans to the Green Bay Packers.

He didn’t even let the whole question come out on Thursday before starting to laugh out loud.

Mercilus didn’t have the same feeling as Cobb, who upon arrival in Green Bay said, “It’s funny, my teammates said you act like you just got out of prison, and I said, well, you know … I’m very , very excited to be here. “

While the veteran pass-rusher had nothing bad to say about his time with the Texans, which was much longer than Cobb’s, he shared the same sentiment about coming to Green Bay just two days after his release. In fact, if he hadn’t been released, he said he likely would have asked his agent to seek his release or a trade.

Despite a reduced role this season, the 31-year-old had 3 sacks, 4 tackles for a loss, 3 quarterback hits and 12 tackles in six games for the Texans. His 57 sacks in 10 seasons for the Texans rank second in franchise history behind JJ Watt.

Mercilus, chosen by the Texans 26th in the 2012 NFL draft, said he chose to sign with the Packers on several teams, including offers from the Chiefs and Steelers. And he said he did call Cobb, among others, before making his decision.

“Not all franchises are the same in that they all love to do their thing differently,” Mercilus said. “Having said that, I’m thankful to be here, to have been accepted with open arms, I love it. The energy, it’s amazing. Honestly, it’s like, I don’t know, it just pumps out new life. [into you] because I’ve only seen the same four walls for years and seeing something different is great. “

Going from a 1-5 team in rebuild mode to a 5-1 team that is a Super Bowl contender in the NFC helps.

“That definitely contributes to it,” he said. “But also the top-down mindset. I’m talking tippity-top-bottom. Everyone is on the same page … When you have the mindset like that, you just know yourself” You are appreciated and they are doing their best to invest in you and you want to invest in that again. Experiencing something like that is incredible. “

In Green Bay, Mercilus joined a defense that has been decimated with outside linebacker injuries. Za’Darius Smith is on injured reserve after back surgery and he’s not sure he’ll play again this season. Preston Smith suffered an oblique injury Sunday against the Bears and has not practiced this week. The Packers have already lost Randy Ramsey (ankle) and Chauncey Rivers (knee) to season-ending injuries.

Even if Mercilus doesn’t play Sunday against Washington, it looks like he’ll have a chance to play a big role soon.

“I’ve been on teams that have faced him, and it’s always been a problem playing him,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. “So I think we are very fortunate to have a guy of his caliber at this point in the season.”